Final loss still stings
Saturday, 19th October, 2013
By By Ethan James
West opening batsmen Matthew Handberg says the club still carries some hurt following their shock loss in the A Grade cricket final in March.
The dominant side all season, the Robins were toppled twice in the space of two weeks at the hands of rivals Central.
After going down to the Magpies in the final round, West were then comprehensively beating in the decider by seven wickets.
They were bowled out for just 72 in the first innings.
“It was gut-wrenching to play well all season and then not go that extra step and claim the premiership,” Handberg said.
West will be hoping to channel that disappointment in the right direction when they meet South in opening round of the 2013/14 season today.
With regular skipper Andrew Henry unavailable, Handberg will take the reins of the eleven.
“We’ve got a few blokes away, so it’s a bit of a different side this week but I still think we’re going to be fairly competitive in this match,” he said.
“Fortunately we do have a bit of depth and with our B Grade side having the bye we can call some of those guys up.
“Seeing as it’s the first full game of the season, our main goal if we bat first will just be to bat out the full 45 overs and see what kind of total we can get.
“From a bowling perspective, we’re looking for more line and length and consistency.”
Handberg is hoping that some of the younger squad members can step up and take their opportunity in the absence of more established players.
He pinpointed teenage batsmen Max Everuss and pace bowling duo Callum Rosewarn and Liam King as three to keep an eye on in 2013/14.
“Max has got a really good eye actually... and we’re hoping the other two can be long term fast bowlers for the club,” Handberg said.
Everuss enters the match in good form, having notched an unbeaten half century last weekend in the 20/20 clash v Central.
He is listed to bat at number three for the Robins.
Handberg, a real estate agent off the field, said a combined team effort was the key to success.
“We now have that little bit of extra maturity under the belt ... we need well-rounded efforts from all involved and everyone has to do their bit for the team.”
The A Grade fixture between Wests and Central will begin at 12.30pm.
Meanwhile, Central start their premiership defence against North at Jubilee Oval.